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Foodstuffs (Black Market)

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1947

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29.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to the announcement by Sir Gordon McReady, Regional Commissioner of Lower Saxony, that considerable amounts 'of food found its way into the black market; whether he will give an estimate of the quantity of food so diverted; and what steps are being taken to prevent this.

Yes; I am aware of the announcement. It is impossible to estimate even approximately what quantities of food find their way to the black market, but the amounts are substantial, mostly in the form of potatoes purchased illegally from farmers and transported to towns, often by the consumers themselves There are in each German Land, food enforcement teams working under the supervision of the Control Commission. Checks on roads and railway stations, and farm inspections are continually carried out for the purpose of keeping foodstuffs within the approved channels of distribution. Any quantities of foodstuffs found in illegal channels are seized and confiscated.